Centre for Road Safety

Protect your head

Bicycle riders are required by law to wear an approved helmet securely fitted and fastened. In NSW there are no exemptions from wearing an approved bicycle helmet. 

Research shows that helmets reduce head injuries by up to 74 per cent in crashes with motor vehicles. A bicycle helmet that is not correctly fitted and fastened does not provide enough protection in a crash.

Helmet standard

Approved bicycle helmets have stickers or labels certifying that they meet the Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063) and have passed stringent safety tests. Helmets manufactured after 31 March 2011 must have an identifying mark from a body accredited or approved by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) certifying compliance with the above standard.


Accredited companies that certify bicycle helmets can be found on the JAS-ANZ website. As of October 2012, the following labels indicate that the helmet is an approved helmet and meets the Australian and New Zealand Standard (AS/NZ 2063):

  • BSI
  • Global-Mark
  • SAI Global
  • AUS

Accreditation logos

Correct helmet fit

Always wear a helmet when you ride and make sure you fit the helmet correctly.

  • The helmet should fit comfortably and securely when the straps are fastened
  • The straps should not be twisted, nor cover the ears. When done up correctly, the straps should provide a snug fit over the ears and under the chin.
  • Choose a bright coloured helmet so other road users can see you.

Is your helmet properly adjusted?

Can you place just two fingers between your eyebrows and your helmet?Do the straps join in a ‘V’ just below your ears?Do the straps join in a ‘V’ just below your ears?
Allow two fingers between your eyebrows and your helmet.Ensure the straps join in a ‘V’ just below your ears.Allow two fingers between the helmet strap and your chin.

Replace your helmet if:

  • It’s been dropped onto a hard surface or involved in a crash or severe fall
  • You see any cracks in the foam
  • The straps look worn or frayed


To make it easier for other road users to see you, wear bright or light coloured clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night. If you have no reflective gear for night riding, a plain white top is the next best thing. Footwear that fully encloses the toes and heel helps protect your feet and may also provide pedal grip.

Cycling gloves may help protect your hands, keep your fingers warm in winter and reduce jarring. If you do wear gloves, make sure you can still operate your brakes, gears and bell.

Don’t forget water, sun block and sunglasses - even on cloudy days.

Lights and reflectors

If you ride at night or in hazardous weather conditions, you must display all of the following:

  • A steady or flashing white light on the front of the bike that is visible for at least 200 metres
  • A steady or flashing red light on the rear of the bike that is visible for at least 200 metres
  • A red reflector on the rear of the bike that is visible for at least 50 metres when illuminated by a vehicle’s headlight on low beam

Horns and bells

Your bike must be fitted with a working horn or bell to help sound a warning to other cyclists or pedestrians.


Your bike must be fitted with at least one working brake.